December 23, 2013

Roomies by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando

Roomies by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando
Series: N/A
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Little, Brown
Publication Date: December 24, 2013
It's time to meet your new roomie.

When East Coast native Elizabeth receives her freshman-year roommate assignment, she shoots off an e-mail to coordinate the basics: television, microwave, mini-fridge. That first note to San Franciscan Lauren sparks a series of e-mails that alters the landscape of each girl's summer -- and raises questions about how two girls who are so different will ever share a dorm room.

As the countdown to college begins, life at home becomes increasingly complex. With family relationships and childhood friendships strained by change, it suddenly seems that the only people Elizabeth and Lauren can rely on are the complicated new boys in their lives . . . and each other. Even though they've never met.

National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr and acclaimed author Tara Altebrando join forces for a novel about growing up, leaving home, and getting that one fateful e-mail that assigns your college roommate.
When I started Roomies, I was unsure about what to expect. I featured it on WoW, so clearly I wanted it... but... I didn't know how Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando would write together, so I was keeping my fingers crossed & my hopes at a manageable level. Turns out that I didn't need to be so worried. Because I enjoyed it, even if my final rating is three stars!

I really liked the alternating points of view. Some remarked (and I silently agreed) that you can't tell who wrote each character, and it's totally true. Sara and Tara write very well together, to the point of being indistinguishable. But that doesn't mean that the characters were as such! I actually found Elizabeth and Lauren to be very well done - they had very different personalities, and I loved how they clashed and didn't. It made for a very interesting friendship.

At first, I honestly wasn't even sure that they were going to be friends, because I actually didn't like Lauren all that much. But I'm proud to say that she grew on me throughout the book. There came a point when I just couldn't choose between them, because I loved them both as characters!

I loved the idea that future "roomies" were emailing each other. It was an interesting concept. Their stories intertwined so well, and their personalities were so different that it was fun to read between the lines with them. Lauren was a lot more blunt that Elizabeth, which meant she didn't always think things through before she said them; and Elizabeth was a lot more... she was such an overthinker! Sometimes I just wanted to be all like "STAHP GIRLY IT'S NOT THAT COMPLICATED!" to her. I mean, I kind of think that she needed that!

My only real problem with this book is how much they hurt each other. I mean, I know that people make mistakes and it's a fact of life, but they both did some things that I didn't really approve of. Sadly. On another note, I enjoyed the romances. Lauren and Elizabeth both have completely different lives, but I enjoyed the fact that they were going through a lot of the same things. It helped them to relate to each other, which was great. And, like I said, the romances. So cute! They weren't particularly rushed, and I feel like each character got a chance to get to know the other. Adorable!

I liked the separate dramas. Elizabeth's with her mom and dad, and Lauren's with her big family. I loved Lauren's family, they gave her a certain depth. I felt like her family really made her a better character. I also liked the open ending. I'm not usually a fan, but it just fit for Roomies!

All in all, I enjoyed this one. I would recommend it, but only if you don't mind reading character driven books.


  1. Well,considering some of the really disappointing movies that were based on books,I have to admit that Hunger Games was really good.I loved the action and the acting-especially Jennifer's.She's a really great actress.

  2. Awesome review! I like how you can't tell who wrote each character. I love that when it's a book by two authors since I read books where you can totally tell the difference so that alone would earn bonus points with me. yay!

  3. I've watched both The Hunger Games and Catching Fire movies, and I liked them a lot. I know that if you read the books first it becomes a whole lot more difficult to say "Awesome movie!" - at first I was a bit disappointed, too, by certain aspects of the movies since the books had much more details and character development. However, we must keep in mind that the movie producers had to condense everything in just 2 hours, 2 hours and a half at maximum, so it's normal for them to cut out certain details and scenes.

    Jennifer Lawrence played incredibly well the role of Katniss. My eyes got "watery" several times, because the actors convey strong emotions really well. Can't wait for the next two movies!

    Mada @ All Fantasy Worlds

  4. I'm glad to hear that! I haven't seen Catching Fire yet, so it's good to hear that it's awesome. :) LOL, it really does. I mean, sometimes it's okay. It is normal - but sometimes, books come out of the movie process perfect - I pretty much love those directors.

    LOL. I can't wait for them either! (I KNEW IT, I knew it! Mockingjay will be two parts. *sigh*)

  5. Jennifer is an awesome actress. Some books to movies don't even RESEMBLE the book. LOL.

  6. Thanks! I loved that too - sometimes it's just too obvious, and it gets annoying. LOL. Thanks for commenting, Steph! :)

  7. This actually sounds pretty good! I love it when the characters can carry the book on their shoulders. A little worried by the "hurting each other" bits you mentioned, though. And the open ending. I am very rarely a fan of those (my imagination runs wayyyyy too wild in those lol)

  8. Teehee! I actually think that you'd like it! :) I alove characters, but I do like a LITTLE bit of action. Well, don't worry too much - it's just normal, accidentally hurting each other stuff. Hahahaha, I HATE open endings as well! I just don't like not knowing what happens. O.o